|Above, Richard Crist who earns nearly 100 grand in the County Legislature.|
|Lou Desso, interviewed on voter fraud.|
May have impact on North Greenbush Justice race...It took the news media a bit longer than expected to do a story on the Rensselaer County Republicans who wrote the book on the gathering of questionable absentee ballots. While Crist didn't come close to the record set by Desso and his team in the 2005 town of North Greenbush election where more people voted absentee than at the polls on primary day, he did account for some 61 absentee ballots county wide, about 22% of the total turned in at the Board of Elections.
His actions will come under scrutiny, most likely in court, as a result of 7 absentees he collected in the North Greenbush primary for town justice on the Independence Party line where Democrat George Burke is ahead on the machines by 9 votes and is being threatened by Crist's 7 absentee ballots which are likely 100% for Republicans. Again, what are the odds of that in a fair gathering of someone's ballot?
And what are the lawyers likely to ask in court? Well the voters will be subpenaed and asked, under oath, the time of day Crist obtained their applications filed at the BOE. They will then be asked to testify under oath about where they were on Primary Day and whether Crist suggested they file an absentee and concoct an excuse.
This is what likely happened in 2005 when Desso and company obtained more absentee ballots in the minor party primaries than people who actually voted at the polls! Primary Day became Absentee Day in North Greenbush! Trouble is Democrats obtained numerous affidavits as a result of going to the homes of the so called absentee voters and they were not away during voting hours but at home, calling into question the legal legitimacy of their absentee vote.
That case was dismissed on a service technicality, but the facts remain that more than 120 people gave Desso and his crew absentee ballots for these primaries and because of it, the candidates who won on the machines were defeated with the clearly questionable absentee ballots. Those ballots, incidentally, when opened were 100% for the Desso team. Again what are the odds if fairly gathered rather than manipulated at the time the ballots were filled out?
It has long been suspected that Crist ran a business called Victory Lane out of his office in the County Legislature. Most recently, a GOP candidate paid Crist $10,000 for "consultant" work which of course, he would tell you, he does none of it from his office in the county legislature. That means that the candidate who paid the tidy sum never once entered his office in the legislature to discuss the consultant services or fees.
Certainly enough fodder to for grand jury inquiry and more than enough for an election case to explore the how, when and why of at least 7 of those absentee ballots that could undermine a fair vote in a North Greenbush election.
UPDATE: Thanks to readers who informed us about yet another alleged episode of ballot manipulation by Crist. A college student registered in the Working Families Party whose name is Kanan Vandenburgh, gave an absentee ballot application to Legislative employee and candidate for the Legislature, Harry Tutunjian. Mr. Crist, Tutunjian's supervisor at the Legislature, picked up the ballot after the voter signed the envelope but had not voted for anyone on the ballot. Crist apparently got to vote in a Troy election and in a party he's not registered in because that ballot was allegedly filled out,(tampered with) by Crist and placed in the envelope.
We hope the District Attorney is not ignoring these events and that his office initiates an investigation into all ballot irregularities. Clearly Mr Crist should be suspended pending completion of an investigation into the absentee ballots he obtained and whether he induced anyone to falsify an application for a ballot.
We'll be back with more after we verify the tips received. Keep the leaks coming!